In my post on eggs being a powerhouse of nutrition, I mentioned that free range eggs (from a local farmer you trust) were by far the best eggs I have ever had. I wanted to center on that a little more.
Free Range chickens that have been allowed to eat their natural diet of worm, grubs, and other such chicken delights have a dramatically different egg. Look at the picture above. Even the color is dramatically different! The dark yolk is from a local farmer, who allows her chickens access to the her yard (and bugs). The lighter egg yolk is an “omega 3″ egg from the store (the “free range” eggs I buy there, have about the same color). This color difference would have been even more dramatic if I had used a normal egg from the grocery store!
You really can taste and see the difference.
Mother Earth News did a study comparing small farmer’s eggs with commercial eggs. They found that it affected everything from cholesterol amount, ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats, and vitamin content.
But, even beyond our health, I feel that it makes so much more sense to have chickens eat what we can’t ( and what is natural to them!), instead of feeding them so much grain that could be used to feed other people. Especially in light of the recent grain shortage, this makes the most sense for all animals. We could save so much grain if we simply allowed animals to eat what they were meant to eat. We would also have much healthier meat, eggs, and milk, if we did.
One last advantage for me is that while my eggs purchased from my local farmer are more expensive than bottom of the line eggs in the store, they are actually cheaper than many of the free range eggs at my local health food store. Better quality for a cheaper cost? I’ll take it!
I put my vote in for free range!